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D.E.A.R. Day – April 12, 2023

D.E.A.R. Day, also known as Drop Everything and Read Day, is an annual celebration that takes place on April 12. As the name suggests, this holiday is intended for everyone to dedicate a significant period during the day to reading. The date is a reference to the birthday of one of the most renowned American authors, Beverly Cleary, as she was the first to create the concept of D.E.A.R. This celebration is still observed in the U.S. to this day and is a favorite of many school students.

History of D.E.A.R. Day

Although the current national celebration of D.E.A.R. Day is relatively recent, it has older origins. Several schools across the U.S. and abroad are observing this annual remembrance and implementing several activities in the curriculum to honor this special day. The concept was first developed in one of Cleary’s books. In her book, “Ramona Quimby, Age 8,” a nationwide initiative of the same name begins, during which families dedicate 30 minutes to reading, putting aside all distractions.

An earlier version of the Drop Everything and Read celebration was held as a reading activity for schoolchildren in the U.S. as early as the 1960s. These activities were not held on specific dates and were mainly school activities. This, in part, inspired Cleary to turn this activity into a national celebration in many of her novels.

D.E.A.R. Day was established in 2006 by publisher HarperCollins Children’s Books, in collaboration with the National Education Association and other educational institutions, to commemorate American author Cleary’s 90th birthday. The observance was first intended as a reading celebration to promote silent, sustained reading as a school activity.

D.E.A.R. Day activities are no longer the same as they were previously. Cleary’s writings are responsible for much of the significance and celebrations associated with this observance. The various activities planned for this day are a fitting tribute to Ramona Quimby’s nationwide campaign.

D.E.A.R. Day timeline

1955
“Ramona Quimby” is Published

William Morrow publishes the first book in the “Ramona Quimby” series.

1981
D.E.A.R. Book

Cleary publishes the first “Ramona Quimby” book to develop the D.E.A.R. nationwide campaign, entitled “Ramona Quimby, Age 8.”

2006
HarperCollins’ First Celebration

HarperCollins organizes the first D.E.A.R. Day in celebration of Cleary’s 90th birthday.

2016
Cleary’s 100th Birthday

Cleary celebrates her 100th birthday, going strong, and becoming an icon of American literature.

D.E.A.R. Day FAQs

What is the meaning of D.E.A.R.?

The acronym is for “Drop Everything and Read.” It refers to an annual celebration set to get people interested in reading and books

Is Drop Everything and Read effective?

The activity itself consists of a 30-minute reading session. This is commonly known as ” sustained silent reading” and is quite effective in familiarizing students with new topics.

Who created D.E.A.R.?

Cleary’s books are credited with inspiring this nationwide reading celebration, which is also observed on her birthday.

D.E.A.R. Day Activities

  1. Dedicate a time for reading

    It is the main activity and the most important thing to do to celebrate this day. There are numerous classics and contemporary bestsellers to choose from, but make sure to read a Cleary novel.

  2. Take part in activities

    Most schools and public libraries will hold some sort of celebration or communal activity. These events are frequently of general interest and open to the public, and they can be an engaging and rewarding experience.

  3. Host a reading group

    This is often a long-term project, but initiating one on D.E.A.R. Day is ideal. This will give you the opportunity to constantly read books and discuss them with other group members. You can also become a member of a book club.

5 Incredible Facts About Books And Reading

  1. Reading reduces stress

    Reading helps us focus on a specific simple task, which can significantly reduce stress.

  2. Readers live longer

    According to many studies, regular reading is correlated with a longer lifespan.

  3. The longest book ever written

    The longest book ever written is “In Search of Lost Time” by Marcel Proust, which contains over 3,000 pages.

  4. Many types of reading

    There are many ways of reading, including silent sustained reading and fast and extensive reading, with each method being distinct.

  5. Reading builds knowledge

    Reading can often be a source of entertainment; however, reading is the main way we humans gather knowledge nowadays.

Why We Love D.E.A.R. Day

  1. Reading is fun

    Reading can teleport you from a fast-paced pirate adventure to a super-advanced space civilization to a relaxed, romantic retreat. It’s basically magic.

  2. It helps children have a better future

    Regular reading from a young age can significantly help a child's lifelong education as one of the most common and important learning methods. Reading can improve one's cognitive abilities in addition to providing numerous psychological benefits.

  3. It is the best way to learn

    Reading is a very intimate activity. By reading, we learn life lessons, discover new things about the world or engage our imagination. Books and literature have something to offer for all our reading needs.

D.E.A.R. Day dates

YearDateDay
2023April 12Wednesday
2024April 12Friday
2025April 12Saturday
2026April 12Sunday
2027April 12Monday

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